FermentApp: learn to ferment
FermentApp emerged as a side project during the pandemic, and after two years of development, it finally sees the light as a pilot project for our gastronomic training platform.
The pandemic shook us all up in different ways, and it's not news at this point. In our case, speaking strictly on a work level, it caused almost all of our clients' projects to be canceled during the first few months. Unknowingly, most of them belonged to sectors that were greatly affected by closures and lockdowns: tourism, leisure, residential, in-person activities...
Following, and despite not being any of those things, the neoliberal mantra that "Every crisis is an opportunity", we set out to make use of all the sudden free time we had to carry out a project that we had been considering for a while: a training platform linked to gastronomy.
If there's one thing we like to do in this company, it's to design new products, and this was the perfect opportunity to rethink, from scratch and without any restrictions, how we could improve the experience and enrich the teaching of new culinary techniques through the inclusion of guided and timed recipe books. We had previous experience in robotizing and automating an industrial kitchen through a tablet, and we could apply much of what we had learned there to the new project.
The proof of concept
After a long journey, the minimum viable product of how we imagined the platform is finally ready. The first pilot we launched, FermentApp, is a course for learning how to ferment at home and from scratch. Initially focused on vegetable lacto-fermentation, it includes 10 lessons (also available in audio format) and 16 guided recipes to learn by doing, to which we will be adding new recipes periodically. The application has a pantry manager for finished and ongoing batches and notifies you of their status and the next steps to take. It's available in English and Spanish.
We launched this project in a one-time payment app format because it is the simplest way to validate the platform and gauge interest, as well as to make use of some native capabilities of mobile devices such as notifications and haptic technology. Additionally, by including it in application markets, we can try out different pricing strategies, establish promotions, and change conditions quickly and dynamically until we find the optimal point.
Following shortly after this first course will be a Basic Cooking Techniques course for beginners, covering cooking methods, mother sauces, types of cuts, and butchery... All the fundamentals for getting up to speed in the kitchen, designed for people without previous knowledge but with a desire to learn.
With these two courses, we will be able to see the potential of the platform and its possibilities for growth and monetization. They will also help us make decisions about which functionalities to implement, identify gaps or new needs, and establish opportunities and development priorities.
This is our first experience trying to monetize a project directly, so we will make mistakes, change things, break others... We know it's difficult to launch a project like this and that getting results will take a lot of effort, but we are here for the long haul. We will keep you updated on all the difficulties and milestones that arise.
Thank you for being with us on this journey!